Monday, January 23, 2017

Keep Your Leather Furniture in Tip-Top Shape

When you invest in leather furniture from Baer’s, you know you are getting quality that will stand the test of time. You might think that leather is tedious or difficult to care for, and that it is easily mistreated by pets and children, but these claims are baseless. And even though your leather couch, sofa, or loveseat will look better as it ages, proper maintenance is important. Caring for leather correctly is, in fact, no more difficult than caring for most other types of upholstery. Follow the dos and don’ts below to ensure that your furniture ages gracefully.

DON’T Use Oil Soap

Cleansers such as oil soap may seem harmless, but they will darken and stain the leather. Even a mild dishwashing soap, so gentle on your hands, will remove more than just the dirt from your leather furniture. It might also remove or spoil the color. And while you may use saddle soap on your saddle, leather shoes, or catcher’s mitt, don’t use it on your leather sofa.

DON’T Use Detergent or Soap

No matter how mild, don’t use detergent or soap. Even if this seems like a repeat of the above, it’s worth repeating. We can use gentle cleansers or soaps on our skin because it is still living and can replace any oils the soap removes. A leather couch doesn’t have that ability, so it will become brittle, dry, and damaged over time if you use soap or detergent. So why not use soap and apply oil after, just like we do for our skin? Because, as mentioned previously, oil will stain or darken the leather.

DO Regularly Apply a Leather Conditioner

Regularly conditioning your leather furniture will help keep it from drying and developing cracks. This is the main difference between caring for fabric vs leather. Leather conditioner has a cream consistency and is designed specifically to be rubbed into the leather. Think wax on, wax off. You can purchase leather conditioner at furniture and auto parts stores (leather car interiors). Follow the application guidelines of the product you’ve purchased, as they sometimes vary, and condition your leather every 6 to 12 months or as needed.

DON’T Place Leather Furniture in Direct Sunlight

Nothing is really safe for long from the strong South Florida sun, and this includes your leather furniture. Extreme temperatures can cause it to dry and crack. Regular conditioning will help mitigate any damage, but it is better to keep the furniture out of direct sunlight if at all possible.

DO Blot Spills Quickly

This may seem like a no-brainer, but don’t get complacent about your leather furniture’s resistance to spills and messes, especially grease or oil (see oils stains leather, above). Use a dry cloth or paper towels to immediately clean up spills. If you spill oil or grease, use baking powder or talcum powder to absorb it. There are also leather furniture cleaners that you can use, available from some furniture manufacturers or furniture stores, be sure to have some on hand just in case.

DO Buff Small Scratches

Your leather is likely to collect some small scratches over the years. Since leather is made from animal hide, it may dry out and develop scratches and small cracks. If that happens, you can easily buff them out with a microfiber cloth. Using a microfiber cloth, buff gently until the cracks or scratches fade.

DO Invest in a Leather Protector

When your leather furniture is brand new, purchase a professionally applied leather cleaner, such as UnitersPure available for all leather furniture purchased at Baer’s Furniture. If you have older leather furniture, have it professionally cleaned and then apply leather protector. Wipe it occasionally with a slightly damp cloth to keep it dust-free, and when needed, use your vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment to remove any debris that can gradually accumulate under the cushions and in crevices.

Following these tips will help keep your leather furniture looking good and lasting longer. Keep in mind that different leathers require different method to keep them at their best. Check with your Baer’s Furniture professional to ensure that you are using the proper method for maintaining your leather furniture.

Learn more about Baer's Furniture. Follow Bear's Furniture on Instagram for more design tips.

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